From the most widely popular to the lesser known here is a comprehensive list of of the best must see art museums in the world. There are over 55,000 museums around the world. There are museums in more than 200 countries. That’s more than the total number of countries in the United Nations.
Museums allow us to connect with the past, and art museums can be especially wondrous. The best museums in the world allow us to see what has come before us and experience it in person. Going to a museum is worth a thousand pictures that you can look up on the internet.
Being in the presence of history that has existed for hundreds of years can be awe-inspiring. Creating your own art is becoming more common. Whether you do this via an art class or you paint by the numbers, you can create beautiful art for your home. There is no substitute for seeing the old masterpieces though.
In this article, we’ll go over the most spectacular art museums in the world that any fine art aficionado should visit.
- 1 The Best Must-See Museums in the World
- 1.1 1. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City
- 1.2 2. Musée du Louvre, Paris France
- 1.3 3. The Vatican Museum
- 1.4 4. The National Palace Museum in Taipei, Taiwan
- 1.5 5. Egyptian Museum, Cairo Egypt
- 1.6 6. Smithsonian Institution National Air and Space Museum, Washington, D.C
- 1.7 7. National WWII Museum, New Orleans, Louisiana
- 1.8 8. Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
- 1.9 9. National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington DC
- 1.10 10. Alexandros Soutzos Museum, Athens, Greence
- 1.11 11. The British Museum, London, England
- 1.12 12. State Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia
- 1.13 13. Van Gogh Museum
- 1.14 14. Museo Nacional del Prado
- 1.15 15. Getty Center, Los Angeles, California
- 1.16 16. Acropolis Museum, Athens, Greece
- 1.17 17. American Museum of Natural History, New York City, New York
- 1.18 18. The Museum of Modern Art
- 1.19 19. Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain
- 1.20 20. Holocaust Remembrance Center
The Best Must-See Museums in the World
The best museums in the world are scattered all over the world. No one region or country has all the best museums in it. If you want to visit the very best here are 20 of the best museums in the world you should check out.
1. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City
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Perhaps the greatest single museum in the world is the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Millions of visitors visit this museum every year, making it the third most visited art museum in the world. it is the largest museum in the United States.
Art here ranges from the ancient world to contemporary. The museum’s permanent collection at the Metropolitan Museum numbers over 2 million pieces of art from around the world.
This museum of art is so large that it’s not a single location, but three locations that house this permanent collection. The interiors of these buildings are also legendary and add to the appeal of going.
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Founded in 1870, the Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of the best museums in the world. The main building on the historic Fifth Avenue is one of the largest art galleries in the world. It even houses a national zoo!
All together this museum has 17 curatorial areas that separate the massive collection into viewable sections. African, Asian and Native American, Egyptian collection, and American paintings are all prominently displayed here as well as the works of nearly every European master.
If you live in the United States and can only go to one museum this year, make it the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
2. Musée du Louvre, Paris France
There is no more famous museum in the world than the Louvre. For art lovers, the Louvre is like their Holy Grail. It is the largest museum in the world. Some of the most famous pieces of art ever created, like the Mona Lisa, are viewable here.
The Louvre was established over 200 years ago in a palace that was built in the 13th century. The building itself is a historic landmark and one of the most famous buildings in the world. This royal residence was once a home to heads of state.
Over 10 million visitors come to the Louvre to admire more than 380,000 objects that range from prehistoric to modern masterpieces. There are 8 different sections for collections from Ancient Egypt, Greek, Roman, and more.
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France is famous for its love of art, so it makes sense that the museum with the world’s largest collection of notable artworks is in Paris. This museum has been immortalized in books and movies and has a total budget in the hundreds of millions.
The Louvre Pyramid is worth going to see just by itself. A massive glass pyramid, the structure has become one of the most famous landmarks in the world.
The French government owns the Louvre, but the museum is very independent. This museum helps with expensive and vital restoration and reconstruction work. The Louvre is easily Europe’s best art museum and one of the best museums in the world.
3. The Vatican Museum
The Vatican Museums are visited by over 6 million visitors every year. Many people come to the Vatican for religious purposes, but it remains one of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring collections of art in the world.
Famous roman sculptures and many classical renaissance masterpieces are kept here. Popes have been collecting art for a very long time. The Vatican Museums has been displaying Renaissance art pieces as well as 16th and 17th centuries collection.
Another great reason to visit this museum is that it sits in the heart of Rome. Rome is a must-see for anyone who is interested in history, art or otherwise.
The beautiful Sistine Chapel is also close by this museum, so visiting the Vatican Museums means you are immersed in history from start to finish. Grand cathedrals and ancient art combine to create a once in a lifetime experience.
For thousands of years, Rome and the Vatican City were the center of the western world. This history is rich and displayed proudly at the Vatican City Museums.
After you are done checking out this museum, you can always go and see the Coliseum and the other grand ruins of Rome.
4. The National Palace Museum in Taipei, Taiwan
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- English (Publication Language)
- 236 Pages - 03/13/2019 (Publication Date) - Art Gallery New South Wales (Publisher)
The National Palace Museum in Taipei has one of the largest collections of Chinese Imperial artifacts and art in the world. With nearly 700,000 items that can be viewed, this museum counts as among Asia’s finest and one of the best museums in the world.
China has one of the longest and best-preserved cultures in the world. Works of art and literature that still help shape the Chinese history and inform the modern world were created by Imperial China.
The works cover a period of 8,000 years from the Neolithic period onward. This makes the collection at this museum truly unique and special.
Taipei is an international city with a lot of great attractions, but the Palace Museum stands out. The pieces that encompass the collection were moved repeatedly during WWII to avoid them falling under the control of Japan.
It was only with great effort and the cost of lives that we can still view these treasures today. This makes the National Palace Museum one of the best museums in the world and a place you should visit at least once.
5. Egyptian Museum, Cairo Egypt
The Egyptian Museum in Cairo is one of the greatest collections of Egyptian artifacts on display in the world. Famous busts, carvings, and trinkets speak to a time long before the modern age. It was commissioned by the government in hopes that this will prevent the looting of historic sites.
Built back in 1902, the museum was constructed at a time when the interest in Egyptian artifacts was peaking. Famous discoveries had driven public interest in ancient Egypt that spurred people from around the world to travel there.
The building itself looks like something out of history. Millions of visitors have walked the quiet halls of this museum staring in awe at a civilization that was older to the Romans than they are to us. The museum features 120,000 items that are either on display or stored at the museum. Famous Egyptologists are immortalized here.
If you want to walk among the artifacts of ancient Egypt at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, you should hurry. Later in 2020, a new museum is opening in Giza that will replace the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.
That museum will easily take the Egyptian Museums place on this list as it will incorporate the collection held in Cairo and more. Plus, building a museum near the Great Pyramid and its sisters is almost enough to make it one of the best museums in the world without even knowing what it will display.
6. Smithsonian Institution National Air and Space Museum, Washington, D.C
The Smithsonian Institution National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. is huge! It’s a really big place with plenty of things to see. This museum has a great collection of American and international aircraft, spacecraft, missiles, rockets, and more.
It has over 35,000 artifacts on display, including the Wright brothers’ airplane, the Apollo 11 command module, and Buzz Aldrin’s spacesuit. The Smithsonian National Air Museum also has an IMAX theater and a planetarium.
In addition to its impressive collection, the museum offers educational programs, public lectures, and research opportunities.
7. National WWII Museum, New Orleans, Louisiana
The National WWII Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana is a must-visit for any art enthusiast. The museum houses an extensive collection of artworks from the World War II era, as well as cultural artifacts and historical documents.
The National WWII Museum is also home to a variety of art world events, such as lectures, performances, and exhibits. Visitors can learn about the art, history, and culture of the time period through the many different mediums on display.
8. Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
The Art Institute of Chicago is one of the oldest and largest art museums in the United States. Founded in 1879, it houses a collection of artworks that spans centuries and cultures.
The museum’s permanent collection of European art and European paintings includes works by some of the most renowned artists in the world, including Vincent van Gogh and Claude Monet.
In addition to its art collections, the Art Institute also houses a library and research center that is devoted to the study of fine arts and art history. As a result, the Art Institute plays a vital role in both the cultural history of Chicago and the art world more broadly.
9. National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington DC
The National Museum of African American History and Culture is a museum that seeks to understand American history through the lens of the African American experience. It sis dedicated to the history, culture, and contributions of African Americans.
The National Museum has a collection that include decorative arts, archaeological artifacts, documents, photographs, as well as temporary exhibits that trace the journey of African Americans from the past to the present day.
In addition to its exhibitions, the museum offers educational programs, public events, and research facilities. The National Museum of African American History and Culture also houses a research center, which is dedicated to preserving and interpretation of the African American experience.
10. Alexandros Soutzos Museum, Athens, Greence
The Alexandros Soutzos Museum is one of the most important fine arts museums in Greece. This gallery is home to a collection of Greek and European art, as well as a series of exhibits that showcase the work of contemporary Greek artists.
The Alexandros Soutzos Museum is devoted exclusively to Greek art from the Byzantine period to the present day. The museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the history and culture of Greece through its art.
11. The British Museum, London, England
The British Museum is one of the world’s oldest and largest museums. It was founded in 1753, and houses a collection of over 8 million artifacts from all over the world. It is the first national museum to feature all aspects and fields of knowledge.
The museum is particularly famous for its Egyptian collection and Egyptian antiquities, which includes the Rosetta Stone and the bust of Nefertiti. Other highlights include the Parthenon Marbles, the Elgin Marbles, and the Lewis chessmen.
The British Museum is free to enter, and the museum’s galleries receive over 6 million visitors each year.
12. State Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia
The State Hermitage Museum is one of the largest and oldest museums in the world, housing over three million items. Located in Saint Petersburg, Russia, the museum was founded in 1764 by Catherine the Great. It is the country’s most visited museum.
It is housed in a complex of buildings that includes the Winter Palace, the former home of the Russian tsars. The museum is renowned for its collections of art and antiquities, which span a wide range of periods and cultures.
Visitors to the museum can see works by Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt, van Gogh, and many other famous artists.
13. Van Gogh Museum
The Van Gogh Museum is one of the most visited museums in the world, and for good reason. The museum houses the largest collection of works by Vincent van Gogh, as well as a number of his letters and other personal belongings.
Visitors can see masterpieces such as “The Potato Eaters,” “Starry Night,” and “Sunflowers.” The museum is located in the former winter palace of Prince Henry of Orange-Nassau, and its design features a glass atrium that allows natural light to flood the galleries.
14. Museo Nacional del Prado
The Museo Nacional del Prado is the largest art museum in Spain, with a collection that spans from the 12th century to the early 19th century. The museum was founded in 1785 by King Charles III, and it was built to house the Natural History Cabinet.
Over time, however, the collection has grown to include paintings, sculpture, and other works of art. Today, the Museo Nacional del Prado is home to masterpieces by artists such as Diego Velázquez and Francisco Goya.
15. Getty Center, Los Angeles, California
The Getty Center is a world-renowned art museum in Los Angeles, California. Designed by architect Richard Meier, the center houses a collection of over 1.3 million works of art, including paintings, sculptures, photographs, and manuscripts.
The Getty Center also features a research institute, library, and satellite campus of the University of Southern California. Visitors to the Getty Center can enjoy views of the city from the museum’s rooftop garden or take a stroll through the surrounding gardens.
With its stunning architecture and breathtaking setting, the Getty Center is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Los Angeles.
16. Acropolis Museum, Athens, Greece
The Acropolis Museum is a must-see for anyone who loves ancient civilizations. Situated at the base of the Acropolis, the museum houses a wealth of artifacts from the Greek world.
The exhibits range from everyday items to monumental sculptures, and they provide insights into every aspect of Greek life. The museum also features a café and a shop, making it the perfect place to spend an afternoon exploring the legacy of the Greeks.
17. American Museum of Natural History, New York City, New York
The American Museum of Natural History is one of the largest museums in the world, with a collection that spans more than 32 million artifacts and specimens.
The museum is home to some of the most iconic displays in history, including the massive blue whale skeleton in the Hall of Ocean Life and the life-size replicas of dinosaurs in the Fossil Halls.
In addition to its permanent exhibitions, the museum also hosts a variety of temporary exhibitions, which have included everything from mummies to meteorites. The American Museum of Natural History is an institution that has something for everyone, making it one of the most popular tourist destinations in New York City.
18. The Museum of Modern Art
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is a world-renowned institution in New York City that houses a comprehensive collection of modern and contemporary art.
The collection includes works by some of the most influential artists of the past century, such as Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, and Andy Warhol. In addition to paintings and sculptures, the MoMA also exhibits films, photographs, and works of architecture and design.
The museum regularly organizes special exhibitions that showcase specific artists or themes, and it also offers a variety of educational programs for both adults and children.
19. Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain
The Museo Reina Sofia is one of the most important museums in Spain. It is located in Madrid and specializes in Spanish art from the 20th century. The museum was founded inlet 1991 and is named after Queen Sofia, the wife of King Juan Carlos I.
The Museo Reina Sofia houses a large collection of paintings, sculptures, photographs, and other works of art by Spanish artists such as Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, and Joan Miro.
The museum also has a library and archive, which contain documents and records related to Spanish art and culture. Visitors to the Museo Reina Sofia can experience the history and culture of Spain through its art.
20. Holocaust Remembrance Center
The museum presents the history of the Holocaust from multiple perspectives. Through exhibits, artifacts, documents, and photographs, visitors can learn about the experiences of those who lived through the genocide.
The museum also offers a variety of educational programs for students and adults. These programs help to raise awareness about the Holocaust and its relevance to contemporary issues.
One of the most important aspects of the museum is its dedication to remembrance. In doing so, it serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of combating hatred and bigotry in all forms.
Top Museums – Art Improves Lives and Living Spaces
Seeing history and art are ways to connect to our past. You don’t have to be an artist to be mesmerized by a beautiful portrait or painting.
We humans have long had a fascination with art. It’s how we express ourselves and our cultures. These expressions can last forever when properly cared for and are a testament to the skill of their creators.
If you make your own art, don’t be afraid to display it proudly on the walls of your house. Hanging your own pictures on the walls of your home can help recreate the feeling of a museum.
Best Museums with Contemporary Art or Modern Art
For art enthusiasts looking to view some of the world’s best contemporary art, there are a few museums that stand out above the rest.
The Museum of Modern Art in New York City is home to a huge collection of both modern and modern art, making it a must-visit for art lovers from all over the world. The Tate Modern in London is another excellent choice, with a wide variety of modern art on display, as well as a lively program of temporary exhibitions.
And for those interested in seeing art from a particular region or country, the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao, Spain, is home to an impressive collection of modern art from Europe and beyond. Whatever your interest, there’s sure to be a museum with contemporary artworks that’s perfect for you.
Don’t Just Go Once
All of the best museums in the world share one thing in common. They have more to display than space to display it. If you go to any of these museums, don’t make it a one-time event.
Each time you visit, you’ll see different works and significant exhibits. With millions of items preserved in these great museums, you can visit over and over again.
As the destruction of Notre Dame cathedral showed us, history doesn’t last forever. Plan a trip and get out to see the best museums in the world as soon as possible.
In the meantime, contact us by form or send an email to email@example.com to find out what painting kits we have to offer. Fill your home with your own masterpieces and enjoy showing off colorful artwork to friends and family.